If you travel a lot, you probably know how difficult it is to stay connected to the internet when on the move.
Luckily, one of the ways you can access the internet is by using a portable WiFi router.
These devices are not only cheap but also offer high connection speeds and can connect multiple devices simultaneously.
Read on to learn how these pocket-sized devices work.
Does Portable Wifi Work Anywhere?
Yes, you can use your portable WiFi router from any location in the world as long as there’s a network signal.
Portable WiFi typically works like your phone’s mobile hotspot, or your internet box since they all use SIM cards.
The upside of a SIM-based connection is that it gives you the freedom to choose your ISP.
In essence, you can put your preferred SIM card unless the router is restricted. This option is especially important for travelers, as roaming data charges can be exorbitant.
Moreover, portable WiFi allows you to connect up to 10 devices on average. This effectively makes it easier to keep your laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other gadgets connected at the same time.
It also guarantees much safer connections compared to public WiFi networks. So, if you do a lot of banking transactions or confidential communications, having your own Portable WiFi makes sense security-wise.
The main downside of Portable WiFi is that most hotspots are limited to 4G connections, which can be slow in some regions. You must also use SIM-based internet, which is almost always more expensive than other options.
How Do Portable Wireless Routers Work?
As mentioned earlier, Portable WiFi works just like your smartphone.
Once you connect the SIM and turn it on, it automatically searches for a signal from the nearest network tower.
Then it converts the mobile signal into a private WiFi signal and transmits it to the connected devices.
The average transmission radius is 30-50 feet, although some higher-end routers can omit signals beyond 60 feet.
How To Get Wi-Fi Where There Is No Cell Service?
If your cell signal is weak or not available, you can still connect to the internet. There are 3 options available to you in this regard.
1. Switch SIM Cards – It is rare for all mobile services to be unavailable unless you are in a very remote area.
So, if your SIM carrier’s services are down, you may want to check if other carriers are available.
Once you find one, buy their SIM card and check whether the connection will be restored.
2. Try a Phone Signal Booster – If the network outage is a recurring problem, you may want to buy a signal booster to amplify the signals you receive.
Signal boosters are equally portable, and can significantly increase your bandwidth.
3. Share Someone Else’s Internet – If there’s no cell signal, there is a high possibility that someone around you may have private WiFi.
They may be your friends, colleagues, or even your hotel. You can share their bandwidth by either getting their WiFi password or via Hotspot.
Can A Router Be Plugged In Anywhere?
Technically, your WiFi router will work from anywhere, as long as it receives broadband signals.
However, it is advisable to plug in your router at a central spot in the house or room. This is because they emit signals in all directions, and placing them in a corner means some signals will be lost.
Does Portable Wifi Work In The Woods?
It depends on how far the woods are from a cell tower.
If the distance is less than 10 miles, some signals may come in. If the towers are farther away, the connection may be too slow or unavailable.
Since they work almost the same way, your smartphone can tell you whether your Hotspot will connect.
Basically, if your phone is receiving some signals, the router will work. If not, you may want to use a signal booster or satellite internet.
Does Portable Wi-Fi Work In Rural Areas?
Yes. Today, most rural towns have at least 3G network coverage courtesy of government programs like Connect America Fund.
Wireless telecommunication signals, which Portable WiFi routers use, are considered cheaper than cable and are thus widely available.
Just find out which mobile carriers operate in your area and buy their SIM card. Chances are, it will work on your Portable WiFi.
Is Portable WiFi Worth It?
Generally, portable WiFi routers have more benefits than throwbacks. For one, they are small and thus easier to carry around.
Moreover, they give up to 12 hours of connection before they need charging. In contrast, most phones can barely last 6 hours when used as Hotspots.
Portable routers are also relatively cheaper to buy and configure as they don’t come with many elements.
The best part is that they offer safe connections and allow you to receive and transmit confidential data without stress.
This is because they are harder to compromise compared to public and institutional WiFi.
Which Portable Wi-Fi Is Best?
When shopping for a Portable WiFi, the first thing to consider is the signal strength.
The ideal bandwidth is 5G, but 4G+ is not too shabby either – 4G is almost becoming obsolete.
The other important factor is whether the router is restricted to one ISP or can accept different SIM cards.
You probably want a router that gives you the freedom to chance data carriers as often as necessary.
With these in mind, here are some of the best Portable WiFi hotspot devices in the market today:
With wireless internet set to take a bigger market share in the coming years, the importance of Pocket WiFi routers cannot be overstated.
But as with every new technology, not knowing how these devices work can be costly. Hopefully, the above post answered all your pertinent questions.